The Joy Of Missing Out: The Art Of Self-Restraint In An Age Of Excess by Svend Brinkmann

The Blurb On The Back:

”Because you’re worth it”, proclaims the classic cosmetics ad.  “Just do it!” implores the global sports retailer.  Everywhere we turn, we are constantly encouraged to experience as much as possible, for as long as possible, in as many ways as possible. FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – has become a central preoccupation in a world fixated on the never-ending pursuit of gratification and self-fulfilment.

But this pursuit can become a treadmill leading nowhere. How can we break out of it?  In this refreshing book, bestselling Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann reveals the many virtues of missing out on the constant choices and temptations that dominate our experience-obsessed consumer society.  By cultivating self-restraint and celebrating moderation we can develop a more fulfilling way of living that enriches ourselves and our fellow humans and protects the planet we all share – in short, we can discover the joy of missing out. 

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Against Hate by Carolin Emcke

The Blurb On The Back:

Racism, extremism, anti-democratic sentiment – our increasingly polarized world is dominated by a type of thinking that doubts others’ positions but never its own.

In a powerful challenge to fundamentalism in all its forms, Carolin Emcke, one of Germany’s leading intellectuals, argues that we can only preserve individual freedom and protect people’s rights by cherishing and celebrating diversity.  If we want to safeguard democracy, we must have the courage to challenge hatred and the will to fight for and defend plurality in our societies. Emcke rises to the challenge that identitarian dogmas and populist narratives pose, exposing the way in which they simplify and distort our perception of the world.

Against Hate is an impassioned call to fight intolerance and defend liberal ideals.  It will be of great interest to anyone concerned about the darkening politics of our time and searching for ways forward. 

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Positive Thinking Pocketbook by Gill Hasson

The Blurb On The Back:

If you can change your thinking, you can change your life.

Positive thinking – and positive actions – can bring about significant shifts for the better in many areas of your life. But what are the practical steps to achieving an optimistic outlook?

Over 100 tips and techniques for thinking positively in every situation.

Following on from her bestselling book Positive Thinking, personal development expert and bestselling author Gill Hasson distils the power of positive thought into practical activities and suggestions that will really help you think and act positively. IN the Positive Thinking Pocketbook, you will learn to:

– Recognise negative thinking and make the shift towards positivity;

– Transfer positive thinking into positive action and outcomes;

– Avoid getting stuck in negative patterns by making positivity a habit;

– Employ positive thinking to manage feelings in difficult situations.

Positive thinking is a skill anyone can learn. The Positive Thinking Pocketbook can become your constant companion as you work towards confidence and optimism in your everyday life. For any situation needing a dose of positivity, flip through these pages and find a technique, activity or suggestion to inspire you and propel you forward. 

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The Happiness Fantasy by Carl Cederström

The Blurb On The Back:

In this devastatingly witty new book, Carl Cederström traces our present-day conception of happiness from its roots in early-twentieth-century European psychiatry, to the Beat generation, to Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.  He argues that happiness is now defined by a desire to be ‘authentic’, to experience physical pleasure, and to cultivate a quirky individuality.  But over the last fifty years, these once-revolutionary ideas have been co-opted by corporations and advertisers, pushing us to live lives that are ever more unfulfilling, insecure and narcissistic.

In an age of increasing austerity and social division, Cederströmargues that a radical new dream of happiness is gathering pace. There is a vision of the good life which promotes deeper engagement with the world and our place within it, rather than the individualism and hedonism of previous generations.  Guided by this more egalitarian worldview, we can reinvent ourselves and our societies. 

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The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Changes The Way We Think, Live And Die by Keith Payne

The Blurb On The Back:

Inequality makes us feel poor and act poor, even when we’re not.  It affects our mood, decision-making and even our immune systems.

Using groundbreaking research in psychology and neuroscience, Keith Payne explains how inequality shapes our world and influences our thinking, how we perform at work and respond to stress – and what we can do to combat its most insidious effects on our lives. 

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Society Of Fear by Heinz Bude

The Blurb On The Back:

From the rise of terrorism to the uncertainties associated with economic crisis and recession, our age is characterised by fear.  Fear is the expression of a society on unstable foundations.  Most of us feel that our social status is under threat and our future prospects in jeopardy.  We are overwhelmed by a sense of having been catapulted into a world to which we no longer belong.

Tracing this experience, Heinz Bude uncovers a society marked by disturbing uncertainty, suppressed anger and quiet resentment.  This is as true in our close relationships as it is in the world of work, in how we react to politicians as much as in our attitudes towards bankers and others in the financial sector.  Bude shows how this fear is not derived so much from a “powerful other” but rather from the seemingly endless range of possibilities that we face.  While this may seem to offer us greater autonomy and freedom, in reality the unknown impact and meaning of each option creates a vacuum which is filled by fear.

What conditions lead people to feel anxious and fearful for themselves and others?  How can individuals withstand fear and develop ways of making their fears intelligible?  Probing these and other questions, Bude provides a fresh analysis of some of the most fundamental features of our societies today. 

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